Coffee, we just can’t get enough of you.
We wake up thinking coffee, coffee, coffee; pictures of cups full of the liquid elixir take over our Instagram feed, especially on Monday mornings; and we swap notes comparing favorite cafes.
America is the world’s leading consumer of coffee, with the average U.S. coffee drinker reaching for nearly 3 cups a day, according to Gallup. But while we’re obsessing over the perfect cup, we often overlook the environmental effects of that coffee.
The coffee industry produces large quantities of greenhouse gas both on the growing side where especially in Mexico, Central America, Colombia and the Caribbean agro-forests are being cut down so lightly shaded or full-sun coffee plants can grow, and on the roasting side where everything from heating water, to turning on the lights to the waste-produced from to-go containers contributes to the carbon footprint of the industry. Meanwhile, coffee is one of the agricultural industries already seeing the effects of climate change. The Climate Institute of Australia believes that we will lose half the world’s suitable area for coffee growing by 2050.
In honor of Earth Day, and really every day, here are 5 Long Island roasters and retailers that can help make your cup of coffee a little more sustainable. Plus, tips for making your at home cup greener.
Jack’s Stir Brew
Founded by Jack Mazzola in 2003, the beloved NYC coffee house has expanded to six locations including one in Amagansett and one in Sag Harbor. One of the early leaders of the crop to cup movement, the company continues to work directly with the farmers that grow their coffee and serves organic, Fair Trade, shade-grown coffee, which means in addition to using no pesticides, the coffee trees growing the beans are helping to filter carbon dioxide.
Thunder Island Coffee Roasters
Chances are you’ve had coffee from this organic roasting company, whether or not you realize it. The Native American owned and operated company is both certified organic and Fair Trade and sources beans directly from Indigenous-run organic coffee farms in Central and South America. Find their the coffee at the Southampton coffee house, at Long Island Whole Foods Markets or order the coffee online.
Port Washington locals know COFFEED for its quirky, cozy vibes, expertly roasted, rotating selection of single-origin coffee, and housemade juices and pastries. What many don’t know is that each COFFEED location gives at least 10 percent of its yearly profits back to local charities. COFFEED only sources fair trade coffee and much of the food they serve is also local, with the Port Washington location sourcing much of their produce from the Brooklyn Grange.
Opened in 2014, Huntington’s Southdown Coffee specializes in single-origin coffee. Owner Mark Boccard is always happy to talk, brews, beans and the farms the company buys from in Rwanda, Honduras, Brazil, Ethiopia and beyond. While the single-origin beans change, Southdown often has Rainforest Alliance certified beans, meaning grown on coffee farms that work to protect the environment such as by providing a habitat for birds, while also working to insure the sustainability of the coffee farmers.
Hampton Coffee Company
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Our Water Mill Café, which features a full-service restaurant in addition to our espresso bar, is back open! Come on by and enjoy your favorite breakfast, lunch or dinner today!🙏🏼 . . . #repost Avocado toast & a giant cup of coffee to start my vacation off right 😜 ™@tina__ess #hamptoncoffee #hamptoncoffeecompany #drinklikealocal #eatlikealocal #localcoffee #localcafe #coffee #coffeelovers #avocado #avocadotoast #yum #yummy #eeeeeats #instagood #foodstagram #food #breakfast #lunch #dinner
For more than 20 years, Hampton Coffee Company has been an East End staple. Not only does, the company have a line of certified organic coffee they have always strived to make their cafes eco-friendly. You can see in real-time how much energy the solar panels on the Water Mill location produced and in addition to using LED light bulbs and Energy Star equipment, they repurpose their kitchen fryer oil into biodiesel fuel and use 100 percent compostable coffee jackets and recyclable single cups.
Enjoy Eco-Friendly Coffee At Home
There are plenty of ways you can green your at home caffeine fix, here are a few easy ones.
Start by breaking up with your Keurig or single-pod coffee/espresso machine of choice, if you haven’t already. Those pods are not easily recyclable or biodegradable.
When you buy coffee grounds, look for organic, shade-grown and fair trade coffee. Check out this cheat sheet from Good for more on the types of labels you want to look for and what they mean.
If you use a coffee machine skip the the paper coffee filters and use a gold filter. Not only are they better for the environment, they’re better for the taste of your coffee. Think less bitter. If you can’t part with the convenience of the paper filters look for unbleached, biodegradable ones. And remember you can compost the coffee grinds. Your plants will thank you.